Tag Archives: future


The lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, in the fog

The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, in the fog
Photo credit: Janet Sketchley

I love to walk in the fog. My world shrinks, cocooned in a soft, grey blanket. I feel peaceful and secure. Given that I live in Atlantic Canada’s coastal region, that’s probably a good thing.

Fog simply is. It has no intent, benevolent or malicious. Our individual natures shape how it affects us. Some thrive in it, while others feel oppressed and caged in. It saps their energy and weighs them down.

Our lives are often a lot like that. Things happen that are outside of our control. Panic wells up inside of us when events seem to be moving too fast, or taking a direction we don’t like. How should we respond? Who knows what’s ahead?

We can’t choose our circumstances any more than our favourite weather patterns. They come to us, filtered through God’s loving fingers. The only control we have is over our choice of response.

In a way, it’s like driving in the fog. We creep along, wearing down the brake pads and straining to see ahead. The limits are suddenly too close. What was perfectly safe for a pedestrian doesn’t allow enough reaction time at a faster pace, and the headlights reflect back at us instead of showing the way.

It’s different when we’re passengers. As long as we trust the driver’s ability, we may as well  relax. We have neither control over nor responsibility for a safe arrival at our destination. The decisions are out of our hands. We can fret or enjoy the ride; the results will be the same.

If our lives are a journey, travelling sometimes through poor visibility, sometimes through clear sunlight, where would we rather be, behind the wheel or in the passenger seat? (Well, truthfully, I’d like to take over in the sunny places!)

God is our Creator. He is somehow bigger than time, not limited by it like we are. The Bible says He knows the end from the beginning, and the Old Testament prophets have shown this to be true.

He knows what the future hides from us. We’re free to choose our own way, but accepting His wise guidance gives us a better chance. It’s as if He’s the cartographer who drew the map. Suddenly the limited vision, the daunting unknowns, cease to threaten. He understands the dangers, and can navigate us through them. And He will never abandon us.

The Psalmist declared that even when his path was dark and dangerous, he would fear no evil, because God would be with him to comfort and protect him. When our road gets bumpy, and the fog closes in on us, God is holding the wheel. He can get us safely to the end of our journey. I’m glad it’s not up to us.

[This post first appeared as an article in the Spring 1999 issue of Esprit.]


The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Hebrews 1:3a, NIV*

“Sustaining all things by His powerful word.”

I don’t know about you, but to me the world seems a little out of control. Natural disasters are more frequent and widespread, society’s morals keep sliding, sickness and anxiety thrive. Of course, it doesn’t help that I finished 2010 by reading the book of Revelation.

Today’s verse is from the beginning of Hebrews, and later in the same chapter we read about the heavens and the earth perishing. The writer ends that passage by reaffirming that God does not change.

God the Father won’t grow weak or fail. Jesus the Son will sustain all things. The Holy Spirit will never leave us.

I take comfort in that. The world may be a scary place, and material things will wear out, break and decay, but I can trust the God who made the universe to sustain what matters to Him… and that includes us.

Mighty God, we can depend on You to sustain us. Give us the grace and faith we need to keep our confidence firmly fixed in You, who alone are worthy. Because of who You are, we can rest in hope.

This version of the newsboys’ “Lord, I Don’t Know” doesn’t show the lyrics, but the images are really effective.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Trusting Jesus with the Future

Sheila Walsh’s book, Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, has a valuable Bible study section at the end. As I worked through it, this question struck me and I thought it would generate some good conversation:

“What have you seen Jesus do that gives you assurance of His ability to intervene in your life in the future?” (p. 253)

My story:

Almost ten years ago, my car blew its transmission on a rural highway. I had three young sons with me and no cell phone. But what did I see on the other side of the road? Another vehicle with a blown transmission, complete with two friendly men and a cell phone with barely enough charge to make a call for help. They shared their phone, we shared the raw hotdogs from our cooler, and everything worked out.

It was hot and boring, but the boys didn’t even fight! We sat in the back of the car and read stories. I wasn’t surprised to look up and see an eagle soar past, and I told the boys about how God encouraged me with the reminder of Isaiah 40:31. (I saw eagles maybe three times that year, each coinciding with a majorly expensive car problem.)

My dad arrived at the same time as the tow truck, and I came home with a certainty that if God could take care of me on the side of the highway, He could take care of me anywhere.

[Edit: You’ll find the full version of this story in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, an anthology of Canadian Christian writing.]

Knowing God’s Nearness Today

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24, NIV*

As I prayed for a friend who has serious health trouble, the Holy Spirit seemed to prompt me to ask the Father to reassure her that He’d be with her whatever the future brings, but also that she’d know His nearness today.

We all long for some kind of reassurance for the future – specifically that things will be fine – but God asks us to focus on today. That’s the whole “living in the moment” thing I’m still trying to learn.

Definitely, we need a solid faith that God knows what lies ahead and can deal with it, but we’re not in the future. We’re in the present. And as Jesus said, today has enough troubles of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

Father, I’m so thankful that You know what tomorrow holds. Nothing will catch You off guard. Help me to trust the future to You and to live in the present – knowing You’re with me. Open my eyes to what you want to do through me today, who You want to touch. Help me enjoy Your company on the journey.

This week’s song is the classic “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” sung here by the group Selah.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Satisfied by God’s Goodness

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:2, NIV*

At Whatever He Says, Susan wrote, “I can only imagine what it would mean to [God] that we his children, the objects of his love, would be satisfied with his goodness alone. Not running to and fro and here and there looking for satisfaction or fulfillment in anything else.” You can read the full post here: Short and Sweet.

I wonder if this latent sense of dissatisfaction, this always reaching for something more, is a root of the vague fear that many of us carry. Or maybe that fear is what breeds the never-ending quest for “something more”.

Maybe deep down we’re afraid that God isn’t really good, isn’t really enough?

It’s easy to say God is good. To affirm His love for us. But sometimes if we’d listen closely we’d hear our hearts telling a different story.

We make contingency plans on top of backup plans, we try to cover all the angles, as if we’re facing the future alone. But as I said last week, God will be with us when we get to the future. We won’t have to face anything without Him.

The Psalmist says “The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.” (Psalm 145:13b, NIV*)

Father, as Your children we believe You are good. We believe You love us and are mighty to save. Please trickle this head knowledge into our hearts and help our unbelief. Help us develop a spirit of gratitude, and to be truly satisfied with Your goodness. You are enough.

What better song than one of praise? This week it’s “Sing to the King” done here by the Passion Worship Band.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

God’s Presence with Us

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV*

I’m rarely beset by nightmares, but the other night I had a scare right at bedtime. I was already overtired and a bit stressed, and now I was afraid of what I might see in my sleep.

Then I remembered one of the questions raised in The Shack: When we think of the future—of possible dangers and things that could go wrong—why do we see ourselves facing it alone?

I’d never thought of it before reading the novel, but it’s true. At least for me.

It’s also kind of silly. God is with us in the present. He sees what’s coming, and will be with us each step of the way. Nothing will catch Him by surprise.

With that reassurance, I decided to lie in bed and pray quietly, committing my sleep to Him. “You’ll be with me. You are good.” I repeated it as I relaxed into sleep. Next morning I woke thankful—and nightmare-free.

Today, tomorrow, He’ll be with us. And He is good.

Father, help me fully trust in your promise to never leave nor forsake me. You know the end from the beginning. You are good, and You are all I need.

I chose this week’s song because it speaks of God being there after everything, and about how He repairs, forgives and makes us new. Here’s “The Glory of it All” from the David Crowder*Band.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.